A UNNAMED auctioneer paid more than $518,000 for the ball thrown by Tom Brady for his final NFL game – just hours before the legendary quarterback retired.
Brady, 44, made the astonishing revelation of his decision to retire on Sunday nearly six weeks after the original announcement.
The former Patriot has spent 22 seasons in the NFL, won seven Super Bowl titles and is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time.
He initially hung up his boots on February 1 after telling fans he needed to focus his ‘time and attention’ on other things.
But his sensational event came on March 13, when Brady took to social media to announce that he would be joining the Bucs next season.
All of this, however, came a bit late for the unlucky bidder, who forked out amazing sums on Brady’s ‘last’ touchdown ball in a frenetic auction.
Organized by Lelands, bidding for the ball started around $100,000 in early February and had 23 offers on Sunday morning.
‘CONCLUSION PICTURE MIXED’
The ball came from the Bucs January playoff loss to the LA Rams in the NFC Split.
Brady threw a signature 55-yard coin for Mike Evans, who proceeded to celebrate by throwing the ball directly into the crowd behind the End Zone.
Any lucky fan who caught it has now made over half a million dollars.
Leland’s auction page read: “This ball was deposited directly from a fan who caught it after Evans threw it into the stands.
“However, with that perfect origin, the ball has also been concluded as a photo match.
“Only by an incredible stroke of luck did this ball reach private collectors.
“If Evans had not thrown it in the stands, it would have remained in the possession of the Buccaneers and would never have been publicly offered.”
And for the unfortunate buyer, they are now holders of a rather small – but extremely expensive – token from the near playoff loss.
With Brady’s retirement now in history, it’s unlikely the ball is worth close to the six-figure payout.
This is not the first time Evans has passed the ball to the Bucaneers.
After catching Brady’s 600th game of his NFL career last October, he jumped over barriers and handed out a memento to one lucky fan.
But it was significant in that moment, Brady asked staff to hunt it down again and refund Byron Kennedy fans some of the gifts.
The Tampa Bay supporter was given a season pass, signed gear, and an odd bitcoin for his crash.
Despite a late touch from Leonard Fournette, Brady failed to inspire the Bucs to a win over the Rams as they ultimately fell to a painful 27-30 defeat.
Los Angeles went on to beat the defending Super Bowl champions to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy on February 13.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4889601/tom-brady-last-touchdown-ball-sells-shock-return-retirement/ Tom Brady’s ‘last touchdown’ ball sells for $518k just hours before NFL great announces shock return from retirement